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Kuwait to hold first int’l Show Jumping Competition Event scheduled for March 20-22

KUWAIT CITY, March 11: The first international Show Jumping Competition, a horse jumping contest to be organized and held at the Kuwait Riding Centre in Subhan, south east of Kuwait City, was announced at a press conference Tuesday morning. The competition, scheduled for March 20-22, 2014, will comprise two different competitions involving one hundred and eighty participants running concurrently; a local competition made up of a hundred local riders will enable the local youth and beginner riders to participate. The international competition will have more than eighty more advanced riders drawn from eleven different countries across the globe, Arabs and Europeans alike, competing.  
The Kuwaiti and Arab participants include reigning Kuwait champion Ali Al Khorafi along with his compatriot Abdul Rahman Al Fuzai, a former champion. Other Arab countries being represented are the UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia which is represented by 13-year old sensation Khaled Al Mubty. Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Holland and Austria are among the European and Asian countries being represented in the contest. The total prize money for the whole competition sums up to ten thousand Kuwaiti Dinars (KD10,000), the highest ever prize money to be allocated for various winners of the Show Jumping competition in Kuwait. Besides the show jumping competition, the whole event isn’t going to be limited to equestrian activities, but a family day out activity as well with lots of entertainment activities for the kids and the entire family.
Families can come and enjoy a full day of amusement while also watching a nice sport, says Khaled Ahmad AlKaleb, organizing committee member, at the press conference to announce the event.  The competition which will be open free of charge to the general public, is regulated and supervised by the International Federation of Equestrian (FEI) will be held with all rules applied to international standards. Additionally, there’d be specialized teams to jury to judge the competition, both local and international judges certified by the international federation.
Two special medical teams- a human medical team and a veterinary team are on standby and ready for the event. They’d be on hand to check and ensure both horse and rider are in tip top shape to compete. With specialized teams assigned to handle different tasks in the organization of the event, AlKaleb said he generally doesn’t see any major organizational challenges cropping up even though there are always bound to be lots of challenges, given the scale of the event. The horses, he said will be given round the clock surveillance to ensure they are in good health while at the same time ensuring they comply with all rules and regulations required for their participation in the competition. 
“We’d have our vet team on call for 24 hours to make sure the horses are not being doped or receiving any foreign medications that would compromise their eligibility to compete in the tournament. The biggest challenge we might face though, with the horses, is the quarantine law in the country which stipulates horses once imported into the country are only allowed in on a one- way trip without any exit permitted which implies international contestants cannot bring in their horses and take them back after the event. So one of the solutions to the issue was to bring in enough horses into the country and then convince the competitors to ride them, which was not easy because that close relationship between the rider and his horse must be there for that to happen successfully. That was a big challenge but we managed to get a number of horses allocated successfully to the competitors”, the event organizer added.  On whether there are any records to be broken in the upcoming tournament, Al Kaleb stated that participating in the competition helps riders accumulate points to advance in the international ranking system. 
According to the program schedule released by the organizing committee, the opening day of the tournament, Thursday, March 20, will involve a grand opening at 4:30pm to be led by H.E Jassem Mohammad AlKharafi, former National Assembly Speaker. The first contest of the tournament, Table A — Against the Clock shall be performed with an obstacle height of 120cm with prize money of 1,000 KD at stake. The second competition, Table-A 2 Phase Special — CSI1* with an obstacle height of 130cm has a prize money of 1,500 KD. 
FRIDAY, Day-2 will feature the National competition comprising 2 rounds in the morning, and one International competition in the evening comprising 3 rounds. The first competition-Beginner Tour will involve Table A - One Round Against The Clock with an obstacle height of 100cm. That is followed by Small Tour on Table-A One Round against the Clock, a national event with a 110cm obstacle height. A total of 3,800 KD in prize money is at stake for winners of the day-2 competitions while 2,700 KD awaits winners of the final day contests to draw the curtain on the 3-day tournament.

By Iddris Seidu - Arab Times Staff

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